The article states this is simply a budget cut, but are there politics to be involved as well? I think of where we would be in California without the Department of Managed Care. Who is there to represent the patient? The office has been successful in overturning denials for medical care for over 7500 patients. What about insurance plans that are not subject to state regulation as well. Where does this leave the consumer in difficult economic times who is having problems with living expenses now and could not afford to hire an attorney or a “for hire” advocacy?
The office has also lead the way for insurance reforms in some areas as well. This appears to me to be the first step with leaving many consumers without a path to resolve fighting for their healthcare. BD
Rell's administration has said the cut was part of an effort to reduce the size of government and that other agencies also monitor health insurance.
But critics of the move, including House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan and other lawmakers, say the cut makes little sense since the office's roughly $1 million budget comes from a fund paid into by insurance companies, not taxpayers. Eliminating the office, they say, won't help the state's budget woes.
Some are also wondering if the elimination of Lembo's office is strictly a budgetary move or a political one. Lembo had been outspoken in his criticism of Rell's Charter Oak Health Plan, a key initiative designed to provide coverage for uninsured adults.
Advocates say the office is effective, saving consumers $5.2 million last year by getting improperly denied claims overturned.